alfred nobel. >> it used to be a much more objective standard i think. woodrow wilson and theodore roosevelt ended wars. >> reporter: now looking at a war extension, president barack obama is the third sitting president awarded the nobel peace prize, an honor that even shocked the white house. >> as one ever the white house aides said, what is this? april 1 or something you're telling me he's got the prize. but i think they've got to welcome it because it is a tremendous honor. >> or is it? >> it's not such a big deal as we make out of it. >> reporter: this doctor teaches international affairs at george washington university. >> everything has become over the last decade more political. >> reporter: including, he says, the nobel peace prize which, by the way, offers no official criteria checklist. >> as a committee, whatever they said, they have the final word. they don't have to count anybody. they don't have to prove that they met six points and such.